The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 131

twenty or
thirty men, mostly servants, and a half dozen richly garbed knights.

As Norman of Torn drew rein beside them, he saw that the leader of the
party was a very handsome man of about his own age, and evidently a
person of distinction; a profitable prize, thought the outlaw.

"Who are you," said the gentleman, in French, "that stops a prince of
France upon the highroad as though he were an escaped criminal? Are you
of the King's forces, or De Montfort's?"

"Be this Prince Philip of France?" asked Norman of Torn.

"Yes, but who be you?"

"And be you riding to meet my Lady Bertrade de Montfort?" continued the
outlaw, ignoring the Prince's question.

"Yes, an it be any of your affair," replied Philip curtly.

"It be," said the Devil of Torn, "for I be a friend of My Lady Bertrade,
and as the way be beset with dangers from disorganized bands of roving
soldiery, it is unsafe for Monsieur le Prince to venture on with so
small an escort. Therefore will the friend of Lady Bertrade de Montfort
ride with Monsieur le Prince to his destination that Monsieur may arrive
there safely."

"It is kind of you, Sir Knight, a kindness that I will not forget. But,
again, who is it that shows this solicitude for Philip of France?"

"Norman of Torn, they call me," replied the outlaw.

"Indeed!" cried Philip. "The great and bloody outlaw?" Upon his handsome
face there was no look of fear or repugnance.

Norman of Torn laughed.

"Monsieur le Prince thinks, mayhap, that he will make a bad name for
himself," he said, "if he rides in such company?"

"My Lady Bertrade and her mother think you be less devil than saint,"
said the Prince. "They have told me of how you saved the daughter of De
Montfort, and, ever since, I have been of a great desire to meet you,
and to thank you. It had been my intention to ride to Torn for that
purpose so soon as we reached Leicester, but the Earl changed all our
plans by his victory and only yesterday, on his orders, the Princess
Eleanor, his wife, with the Lady Bertrade, rode to Battel, where Simon
de Montfort and the King are to be today. The Queen also is there
with her retinue, so it be expected that, to show the good feeling and
renewed friendship existing between De Montfort and his King, there will
be gay scenes in the old fortress. But," he added, after a pause, "dare
the Outlaw of Torn ride within reach of the King who has placed

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